Slingshot 4.0

As we wrote last week, Slingshot 2008/09, incorporating fifty of the most innovative Jewish nonprofits in North America has been released. Slingshot: A Resource Guide to Jewish Innovation is compiled and published by 21/64, a division of The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. This annual guidebook celebrates programs and organizations that take innovative approaches to addressing age-old concerns of identity and community in Jewish life today.

The complete guide is now available. You can order a free copy or download the PDF. A synopsis of the major categories along with links to some of those selected can be found in our post Snapshot of an Evolving Jewish Landscape.

And while you’re at it, check out Andrew Silow-Carroll’s column in the current issue of the New Jersey Jewish News.

From survival to revival:

You’re familiar with the term “elevator pitch”? That’s a venture capital term (remember venture capital?) for the kind of lightning sales spiel an entrepreneur can use to impress an investor or CEO, should she ever find herself riding in an elevator with an investor or CEO.

Probably the most successful elevator pitch in Jewish history took place in Egypt, when Joseph was given the chance to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Plucked from jail for his brief audience, Joseph uses just 282 words (according to my English translation) to lay out his plan for a Strategic Crop Reserve that would see Egypt through a looming famine. Pharaoh bought it, and you know the rest: Joseph becomes a big shot, and the Jews flourish in Goshen (until they don’t — at which point Jewish history begins again).

The spirit of the elevator pitch is felt throughout Slingshot, the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies’ annual guide to the 50 “most inspiring and innovative organizations” in American-Jewish life.